ATF Tunes: These eyes watched you bring my world to an end

By the year 1970, a Canadian rock band had sold more records than the entire Canadian recording industry up to that point. They were even outselling The Beatles.

Yes, England had its Lennon & McCartney; Canada had Bachman & Cummings. But, in the midst of the 1960s British invasion, the first great Canadian rock band almost never happened. You had to be a British band to get played on the radio in Canada. An American band had a slight chance. A Canadian band had none. A single was sent to Canadian radio stations without stating the name of the band. Hand-written on the brown paper sleeve were the words “Guess Who?” Deejays assumed it was a new British group and played the record, and the song became an instant hit. When told that the band was Canadian, however, The Guess Who was blacklisted. Without any radio airplay, the record label sold the group’s recording contract for a mere $1,000. Under the new label, a licensing deal was struck with RCA in the United States, later heralded by them as the beginning of the “Canadian Invasion”. A full-length album of Bachman-Cummings originals was released called Wheatfield Soul. Radio stations indicated they would not support “any inferior Canadian music, especially the new Guess Who record” so RCA hired promotional people in key cities to launch the album’s single “These Eyes” in 1969. The song became a million-selling single in the U.S. reaching No. 3 on the charts. Canadian DJs were surprised at the band’s States-side success, and decided to play it in Canada. Needless to say, it became the 10th biggest song of the year in Canada. And it is one of our favourite songs of all-time by a Canadian artist.

Lyrics

These eyes cry every night for you.
These arms long to hold you again.
The hurtin’s on me yeah,
But I will never be free no my baby, no no.
You gave a promise to me yeah and you broke it, you broke it. Oh, no.

These eyes watched you bring my world to an end.
This heart could not accept and pretend.
The hurtin’s on me yeah,
But I will never be free no no no.
You took the vow with me yeah.
You spoke it, you spoke it, babe.

These eyes are cryin’
These eyes have seen a lot of loves
But they’re never gonna see another one like I had with you.

Summary

Song: “These Eyes”
Album: Wheatfield Soul
Year: 1969
Artist: The Guess Who
Origin: Winnipeg

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